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Language Policy and Multilingualism


Admission requirements

This course is meant for students from the BA Linguistics. If the course is full, these students have priority over students from other programmes.
Basic knowledge of linguistics is necessary in order to be able to follow the course.


Diversity, and perhaps even “super”-diversity characterizes the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Extensive multilingualism comes along with it. How to handle linguistic diversity and multilingualism? And what actually is multilingualism? In this course, we take a social and critical approach to multilingualism, focusing not on the linguistic effects per se, but on societal issues in which the multiplicity of languages plays an important role, as well as on the views and ideas that language users develop when they are confronted with linguistic diversity. What do we mean when we talk about “integration” and “heritage languages”? Is language testing a good idea? What is the relationship between language and identity? What kind of policies can governments and other institutions develop in order to deal with multiple languages in education and in the workplace? These and related issues will be discussed in this course. We read and discuss chapters from the course book (Horner & Weber 2018 – make sure you have the 2nd edition!), which comprises case studies from around the globe. Through in-class discussions, assignments and presentations we will explore the societal and ideological aspects connected to the exciting phenomenon of multilingualism.

Course objectives

After successful completion of this course, students are able to:

  • Describe social and ideological aspects of (societal and individual) multilingualism

  • Evaluate policies targeting (societal and individual) multilingualism

  • Assess the importance of linguistic diversity in social domains such as education, the workplace and the family

  • Discuss multilingual conflict sites both orally and in writing.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment and Weighing

First assignment 20%
Presentation 20%
Participation 20%
Final assignment 40%


If a student fails one of the assignments, a resit can be organized.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Horner, Kristine & Jean-Jacques Weber. 2018. Introducing Multilingualism. A Social Approach. 2nd edition. London & New York: Routledge.
Make sure you have access to this book, and make sure it’s the 2nd edition you have access to.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats


Not applicable